• scene of little girl sleeping beneath the moon
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    Many people believe that any story that begins with “Once upon a time…” is a fairytale. But, there are truths to these tales and that is so for Avaline and her Star Slippers. Once upon a time, an eccentric woman lived on the mysterious Moon. Her name was Aurora, and she washed her hair in ...
  • man standing in the rain at night smoking a cigarette and looking at a train
    1499
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    I base my little tale on the actual life events of my grandfather, Wilburn Elliott. The Elliott characters in the story are all real, and I used their real names. However, the other men who appear in this tale are all fictional people I created to fill in the gaps in the story. You see, ...
  • man standing in the rain at night smoking a cigarette and looking at a train
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    Filled with nervous anticipation, Willie scanned the station. His focus scattered as he looked from face to face, hoping one would be familiar. People bustled everywhere. The troupe glided through the crowd of pedestrians, each man searching for anything out of the ordinary. Tobias lifted Willie on his shoulders to get a better view. “Anything?” ...
  • man standing in the rain at night smoking a cigarette and looking at a train
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    Willie walked across the desert, day and night, sticking close to his road companions. His whole body felt like mush. He couldn’t remember exactly when his feet went numb, but he kept them moving. It’s not so easy to start back up once you stop. It’s best to dig in and keep walking until you ...
  • man standing in the rain at night smoking a cigarette and looking at a train
    1509
    1

    Tobias woke the next morning as the sun started to light the sky. The men packed up camp and hopped the first westbound train. They taught Willie the ways of the rails—the difference between a bum, a tramp, and a hobo. A bum was a no good, dirty, rotten thief that would rather steal from ...
  • man standing in the rain at night smoking a cigarette and looking at a train
    1508
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    “Well! Sounds like yer in a right big mess there, Wilburn,” Tobias said to him. The men looked at each other and nodded to one another, except one man. Owen Little shook his head. The men glared at him, and Little scowled back. “Dammit, Little,” Tobias said. Wilburn’s brow creased in confusion as he watched ...
  • man standing in the rain at night smoking a cigarette and looking at a train
    1319
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    The rain hammered on the roof of the boxcar, waking the brothers from their sleep. They’d reached Tucumcari and prepared to jump off a few miles before the train reached the depot. They sloshed through the muddy streets of the small New Mexico town. Wilburn noticed it wasn’t much to look at. The train depot ...
  • man standing in the rain at night smoking a cigarette and looking at a train
    1899
    4

    The leaves rustled in the cold January breeze just off the railroad tracks as Wilburn stood beside his brothers. The three boys lined up before their father, Nelson, and waited in silence for him to speak. Wilburn’s heart drummed in his chest, his palms grew slick, and his blood surged. Nelson stopped in front of ...